Girls’ and women’s menstrual cycles present a rhythm that is constant in their lives, once an adolescent first gets her period. Even though the experience is universal, every woman experiences her period uniquely. 

Some women have cycles that are like clockwork in their regularity, while others have more of an unpredictable schedule. Some women have minimal premenstrual discomfort, and others have severe cramps and other unpleasant symptoms. 

The arrival of your period when you’re a teen, and when it stops once you reach middle age, also varies a lot. The span of time when you approach menopause is called permenopause, and this “pre-transition” is a transition in itself, that every woman also experiences differently.

Since Dr. Mandeep Walia-Bhatia, Dr. Jeremy La Motte, and the caring team at Gain Wellness Center approach every patient as an individual, you’re in the best hands if you decide to seek care and menopause is on the horizon for you.

As with all the services we provide, our goal is to create a treatment plan within the context of your current state of health. Our functional medicine orientation means that we look at multiple indicators of health and how they affect you, not just an isolated set of symptoms. 

What is perimenopause exactly? 

As we noted before, this is the phase in your life during which your body readies itself to transition to menopause. You’re considered fully menopausal when you don’t have a period for 12 consecutive months. 

During perimenopause, your body starts releasing eggs less frequently, your periods become more irregular and shorter, and hormonally, you produce less estrogen and progesterone. 

Perimenopause symptoms include:

  • Sleep irregularities
  • More frequent urination
  • Perspiring more easily, especially at night
  • Hot flashes (feeling a sudden wave of heat that can end just as suddenly)
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Muscle or joint aches
  • Mood shifts
  • Headaches
  • Trouble focusing
  • Libido changes
  • PMS-like symptoms (bloating, mood swings, appetite changes, etc.) 

Not unlike pregnancy and birth, perimenopause is a time when your hormones fluctuate significantly, and these fluctuations lead to these diverse symptoms. 

How long should I expect to live with perimenopause symptoms?

There is a wide range of time frames that’s considered “normal” for the perimenopausal period. This phase begins in your mid-40s and can last anywhere from 2-10 years, but the average length is about four years

It’s important to know that if you do experience distracting symptoms like the ones we listed above, you can get treatment that can help mitigate them. 

Treatment for dysregulated hormones

During perimenopause, it’s an understatement to say that your hormones are dysregulated. They’re actually more like a rollercoaster, with sudden peaks and dips. Your hormones (the endocrine system) form your body’s quite sophisticated messaging system, and they affect everything from your appetite and energy to your level of sexual desire. 

When you seek treatment from Gain, we approach your care from a functional medicine perspective — meaning that we perform a highly detailed examination of your:

  • Complete medical history
  • Cellular health
  • Hormone levels
  • Lifestyle habits
  • Cardio and metabolic testing
  • Digestive health
  • Emotional health

Our complete wellness evaluation provides us with much information that directly impacts how we design your treatment plan. For example, if you’re suffering from perimenopausal hormonal issues, that causes a variety of stresses. We look into not only what stresses you face, but also how you’re dealing with them. We can offer advice on effective stress management techniques.

Even though this may seem unrelated to perimenopause, it isn’t. We truly care for the whole patient, and that includes looking at the implications of perimenopausal symptoms on every aspect of your life. 

In addition to making recommendations regarding the pillars of health — nutrition and exercise — we offer saliva and blood testing, so we can see exactly what is going on with your hormones to get a precise reading of your levels. 

It may be that hormone replacement therapy can help while you go through perimenopause. This involves taking artificial hormone supplements topically, orally, or by injection. 

We’re here with diverse treatments to help you get through to perimenopause and make this momentous transition. 

Call our office at 858-216-2129 to schedule a complimentary consultation, or request one with us online

Author Dr. Mandeep Walia-Bhatia, DC, AFMCP Dr. Mandeep Walia-Bhatia, DC, AFMCP, is the founder of Gain Wellness Center in San Diego, California. At the wellness center, one of Dr. Walia's, greatest goals, as a health care provider, is to provide her practice members with alternative, but healthy and safe choices that will enhance their health and well-being. She likes to motivate and educate her practice members to take charge of their health by providing them with evidence-based information so that they can make informed decisions regarding their own personal health and take control of their health. Dr. Walia was born in India and raised in Canada before moving to San Diego. She attended McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada for her Master of Science degree with specialties in Biology and Physiology. She had various publications in research articles during her time at McMaster University funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. She has three kids and enjoys cooking, hiking and going to the beach with her family.

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